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Column: Goodwill matters in peace, joy of Christmas present

Dave White
Dave White - The Western Star

Gifting and gratitude grant joy at The Holidays. Or, expressed at any other time of year, it all matters.

Singly and collectively bestowed, standing mutually complementary and beneficial, gracefully given and gratefully received whatever the season or the reason, goodwill or God’s will, such acts of kindness and consideration are rarely lost on the masses of humankind where ever they may be.

In Bay of Islands, as anywhere else a just and proper thing to do, gratuitous altruism finds its place.

Worldwide, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, agnostics and atheists alike mark their own holidays on their own days and in their own ways, abidingly different and the same all at once. One people. One place. One time. Graced. Grateful. Gifted.

Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, peace and good will toward all, from our families to yours, a belated Mawlid el-Nabi (Nov. 30-Dec.1), happy Hanukkah (Dec. 12-20), merry Christmas (Dec. 25-Jan. 6) and an enlightened Bodhi Day (Jan. 5), one and all.

Yet, in these times of honour and celebration, a period quasi-emblematic of the outflowing of blessings that ardent observers trust upon in meaningful annual traditions, society's ways yet remain burdensome for many, one by one and for reasons and seasons on end.

The sheer emotional weight of living in the throes of personal desperation and deprivation brought on in joblessness, ill health, grief, loneliness, whatever the matter, take untimely tolls on body, mind and spirit. The saddest outcomes of life. Broken families. Broken hearts. Broken dreams. Or, just simply broke. None good tidings.

Thankfully, too, there remains a core of people who demonstrate inherent good will bestowing impressionable kindnesses and meaningful outcomes on behalf of the community in support of the afflicted and the needy, the latter of whom are not always one and the same.

Goodwill advocates range from thankful folk who willfully choose to contribute, though some have little of their own to give, to appreciative workaday volunteers manning projects like the Bay of Islands food-sharing network, and responsive local firefighting brigades giving time to collect and distribute winter clothing and Christmas toys to children in underprivileged families.

Whatever the cause, all are due highest commendation. Let it be.

The willingness of local residents to share the joys of giving and receiving is further witnessed in open invitations seen extended in the community at large to freely partake of special public programs and related social gatherings attuned to the season, and beyond.

Many come to help. Some come for it. Others yet shy away.

Be someone who matters. Extend a personal invitation, take a hand to encourage participation in the holidays, make a friend and be a friend, check out chances near you to share the joy of the season with someone seeming lesser inclined to celebrate this year. You matter. They matter. Do be a difference maker. It all matters.

We all matter.

Seen blessed with longevity few like her come to share, Bay of Islands family, friends and neighbours are extending 105th birthday greetings this week with Mrs. Lillian Wells, a real Bay of Islands treasure.

Her daughter Madonna’s Facebook page was alight on her birthday Wednesday with praise and well wishing as the Cox’s Cove matriarch looked young, regal and certainly worthy of the recognition she is due.

Happiest of birthdays, Aunt Lilly!


Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at:

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